Ruling AKP Vows to Lower 10 Percent Election Threshold

20149211053222465111_Turkish-Prime-Minister-Ahmet-DavutogluPrime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said his coalition talks with opposition parties will certainly include lowering the 10 percent national election threshold, but the level of the drop will be decided with any governing partner.

“The threshold will be lowered to 5 percent of 7 percent. This will be very good for the inclusion of all parties. Our ultimate objective is to lower it,” Prime Minister Davutoğlu said in an interview with private broadcaster NTV late on July 15.

Turkey’s 10 percent election threshold is one of the highest in the world. The European Union, Council of Europe and other international organizations have long been pressing on Turkey to reduce it to a reasonable level. The 10 percent threshold was introduced by the military junta after the 1980 military coup and could not have been reduced since then.

The next government should also amend the Law on Political Parties as well as the Election Law, Davutoğlu said, adding this would surely take place in the coalition protocol to be signed with its potential future.

The prime minister’s statement came as both the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the People’s Democracy Party (HDP) introduced draft laws to Parliament on the election threshold. CHP wants 5 percent threshold while the HDP demanded the removal of threshold.